Monday, July 27, 2009

13 Smooth Movin Miles

Saturday I completed a long 13 miler. I will be real honest here and tell ya that I was dreading this run all week. My long runs have been such a struggle lately and I've been trying my best to hammer out whatever factors are creating it and perhaps I've somewhat figured it out.

It was breezy and near 70 degrees when I started out on Saturday. The clouds were looming above and the sunshine was poking through. It was perfect running weather at the start of my run.

The first 5 miles blew right by. Mile 6 I needed a little bit of water but kept on trucking after. I took my GU at about mile 8 when I started to feel the energy slipping and it really seemed to help. It wasn't until about mile 12 that I had any sort of issue. I ran out of water around mile 11 (I need to upgrade my hydration belt to include more bottles!). Around mile 12, my stomach started to hurt. I took out my ear buds to my Ipod so that I could focus on my run a little more. I've found that if I can hear my feet on the ground it really allows me to focus more on my form and the way that my body moves and I usually get a 2nd wind. The 2nd wind lasted for maybe half a mile. The last half mile I was running to various landmarks and then walking, then running to the next landmark. At least I was still running though. It also started to warm up a bit by that last mile and I guess my face was burning (didn't realize til I got back). Anyways, overall it was a really good run.

Oh and another BIG announcement. I'm probably going to be running the Kansas City Marathon Relay just a few weeks after the Twin Cities Marathon. I've somehow convinced my dad and some uncles and cousins to join in the fun. My uncle has run quite a few marathons and now races in triathlons so I think we've got a good team. Not sure what leg I will be taking, but I'm kind of hoping for one of the medium length ones as I will be in recovery from TCM.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lights Out

Dark clouds and heavy rain were passing through the Roseville area when I entered the doors of Anytime Fitness. Just like any other day, I got changed and hopped on to a treadmill. My pace has been improving lately and I was so happy to find a groove in my scheduled 6 mile run. The gym was busier than usual, probably due to the droplets falling outside. The gym manager left the door wide open so that every time the atmosphere rumbled outside, many of us nearly jumped off our equipment in fright. I was watching Oprah on the TV, some special about the ranch with the men who have multiple wives. It was intriguing and I was lost in the moment of running and watching these women. Then it happened. BAM! Lightning and thunder outside and the lights went dark inside. My treadmill stopped underneath my feet. I am usually a pre-planner. Someone who thinks about every possible scenario before it happens. It is a part of my job as the "go to" for emergency situations at work. When it leaks you run for the plastic to cover the books. But I had never thought about a treadmill stopping underneath my feet because the lights went out. And I could have a hilarious story for you about how I tumbled forward because the treadmill stopping shocked me. But it didn't. It just stopped. And I stopped with it. And so did all of the other people on cardio equipment. We looked around at each other in the dark with wide eyes. What do we do? Make a mad rush for the weightlifting area? Leave this building and run for cover? That is what the lady next to me thought she should do. She kept turning to me with this concerned look on her face and saying, "Is it safe??" The lights came back on within a few minutes. The runners on the treadmills resumed with no concern. Except for me and the lady next to me. I was halted because my machine was reading "Error 562" and wouldn't restart. The lady next to me just kept looking at me and saying, "Is it safe? I don't think its safe. I am scared." I didn't know what to tell her, honestly. I mean there was the chance that a tornado could come through or perhaps the machines receive some sort of electric jolt from lightning striking but the chances of those things happening were not great. I just smiled and continued to hit the button on my treadmill hoping that "Error" would go away. Well, "Error" didn't go away and I moved down a treadmill. The lady is still asking me if it is safe. I continue to smile and start up the treadmill. I don't know what you say to that. Is it safe? I don't really have any sort of authority to answer that question in an establishment that I am not working at. I could tell you every emergency procedure in my own building but I had no clue for the gym.

I went on to finish the 6 miles. Not great, but at least I was dry and away from the lightening.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

12 Miles of Misery

I was so excited for this run. I had planned it perfectly as it was supposed to be unseasonly cool outside and I was ready to run the 12 miler. However, things never go quite as expected. I'm not really sure what is going on with my long runs lately but half of them have turned out pretty bad. I made it to mile 3 and I was thirsty. I think this is where I lost the groove. I stopped to take a drink of water quick and then kept on running. It felt like it was over 80 degrees when in fact it was only 77. The sun was hitting me just right that I was pouring sweat. Anyways, I trudged on and was doing okay up until about mile 5 when I had to incorporate walk breaks. I never had walk breaks when I was training last year. I felt like my body must be trying to convert me to Galloway and I was trying so hard to resist. I made it up past 6 miles for the turn around and my legs felt like lead weights. It was so hard to keep them moving. On top of that, I've been dealing with a bit of some throat/chest congestion in the past few months that I need to get checked out. I was having a harder time breathing than normal but I think that may be partially because my mind just wasn't in the run for some reason. I kept trying to throw all of these mantras through my head but none of them were sticking. The rest of my run consisted of running a mile, walking for a minute, running a mile, walking a minute. The last mile probably consisted of even more walking.

When I got back to the apartment, I was so exhausted. I just wanted to lay in the middle of the floor but I needed a shower bad because I was coated in salt. On the good news front--I had no knee pain. I do have this strange sore throat thing going on and nearly lost my voice after my long run. I think as a runner, I tend to notice these ailments more than I normally would because I am extra cautious about what might be inhibiting my run. Anyways, I am going to need to work harder so that these runs aren't so difficult!

In other news...I have a few sponsors for a raffle that I will be doing for the Children's Tumor Foundation and the NF Endurance Team. If you are around the area--I will raffling items from the Minnesota Twins and Rick Bronson's House of Comedy (at the Mall of America). All you have to do is sponsor me with a donation of $10 at the fundraising website on the left side of my blog. Each $10 will get you an entry into the drawing. So if you donate $20, you will get 2 entries...etc.

For those of you who are out of town, my cousin Marie will be doing some artwork. She is a beautiful artist and I will post some of her stuff as soon as I get some time. You will go into this raffle. Anyone who has already donated up until this point will be automatically entered.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Lindstrom Loppet 2009

My goal this year was to beat last year's PR and while I didn't exactly succeed, I still had a great time! Andy had promised me that he would run the Lindstrom Loppet with me and he stuck to his word. I really wanted his first running race experience to be an enjoyable one so I started the first 3/4 of a mile with him. Eventually I just decided that my being there would probably make him push harder than he probably wanted and I wasn't going as fast as I wanted so I took off. I pushed pretty hard through the remainder of the race passing everyone in the back of the field. I ran up hills while everyone else was walking and eventually made it at least to somewhere near the middle of the pack. I finished in 28:13 so about 2 minutes slower than last years time. I was 90/309 women and 27/59 in my division.

I waited around the finish line hoping that Andy would cross it. I was a little worried that he might be running or walking along and thinking "what did she get me into??!" Anyways, Andy did an awesome job and I was so happy to see him go through the finish line. He finished in 36: 31 which is pretty good for his first 5k and not having ran much at all before this race.

I will post some pictures...someday. I still haven't posted pics from the last 5k either but I keep making the mistake of having my parents use their camera and they lost the connector cord to load them. Yikes.

Anyways, I was happy to run this race with Andy. He told me it would be his last one but I think that he really enjoyed it.

The weekend was packed with activity as it was Karl Oscar Days in my hometown (a small Swedish town that celebrates a fictional character named Karl Oscar). We went to the Twins game on Sunday and watched them beat the White Sox (yay!) then I had to go home and prepare for my 7 mile run. I was so exhausted by that point that I really didn't want to run but I pushed myself out the door. I didn't have my Ipod so I had to guesstimate at 7 miles but I'm pretty sure I came close. It was an amazing run because the weather was in the 70s and beautiful for once.

This week I plan to get my 12 mile run done early as I will be going to a friend's cabin on Saturday. We'll see how that goes...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Odd Duckling

I'm sure we all do a strange thing at the gym here and there. I like to think that whatever strange quirk that I might have is completely unintentional. But sometimes people do things intentionally that just make me turn my head to the side. Yesterday I witnessed a girl on the treadmill doing the strangest thing. She was holding herself up with both of her arms and perhaps flying?? on the treadmill. I'm not entirely sure what her intentions were...perhaps to do some sort of a half pushup/ half swing your legs in the air sort of thing. Yes, her feet were touching the treadmill slightly...but she was clearly not surfaced. Perhaps I'm missing the logic, but I wasn't understanding what she was trying to get out of that workout...Maybe some of you are air runners and can tell me what I'm missing??

Anyways, so Monday I had a wonderful amazing 5 mile run. It was supposed to be 3 miles but turned into 5 because I knew I was going to be crunched for time this week. I ran 3 last night with little problems. This weekend I am all set to run the Lindstrom Loppet 5k and hopefully PR on last year's time. We'll see what happens. And Andy is running it with me!! Yay!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Heat + Rachel= Miserable

As you can probably see, Sunday's long run didn't go so well. I was scheduled for a 10 miler and had the wise idea to attempt this in the middle of the day. In my defense, our weather has been fluky lately--a mixture of cool temps and rain and spotty sunshine. At the moment that I decided to head out the door--it was full sunshine and a nice 82 degrees. I was not wise enough to bring a hat and only had my huge gigantic Coach sunglasses that kept falling off of my nose (I don't normally wear these running!). Anyways, I made it the first 4.6 miles perfectly fine. And then I don't know what it was, but I just hit a point to where the heat was getting to me. I blame it on my blonde hair and the way the sun goes right through it and penetrates my scalp. Just me making excuses for why my run went downhill fast. Anyways, I stopped at 4.06 miles and drank some water (one wise thing I remembered to bring). I continued on shortly after but my body did not want to move the way it did previously. I kept on running. The last mile before my turn around seemed to take forever. I had to turn off into a neighborhood and was extremely frustrated by running in the heat while everyone else was outside washing their cars and playing in the sprinklers. Anyways, the remainder of my run consisted of alot of running and walking and trying to get my mind back on running. I also got sunburnt. The strange thing is...I was wearing a short sleeve Tshirt but I got burnt like I was wearing a tank top--I think it was around the sports bra straps. See:

Anyways, on the good news front. The 25 before 25 is off to a good start. I've decided to take the weight that I remember being 2 weeks ago because somehow my weight this week was lower than I expected. I don't think it would be wise to try to lose 25 from my weigh in on Friday.

25 Before 25 Friday Weigh In: -3 pounds

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

25 Before 25

I've got some exciting news to share! Yesterday I was on the treadmill and having a GREAT run for once when I thought of a new goal. I am entitling it 25 Before 25. What is this goal you ask? I hope to lose 25 pounds before I turn 25. My birthday is Oct.13 so this leaves me very little wiggle room. I would have to lose 2 pounds per week, which is reasonable and healthy yet no room for error. So, at the end of each of my running blogs I will put a tally towards my goal. Since I have no idea what my exact weight is right now...I think I will start implementing this on Friday. This will be a tough one just because I will still be training for a marathon for almost the entire duration and trying to calculate calories while making sure I get enough to run is going to be interesting. But I assure you, I will make sure I still have enough to run. (Andy's concern was that I'd go out for a 20 miler on few calories--I assure you this will not happen). And, yes, I do have 25 lbs to lose...probably exactly the number I'd like to be comfortable with.

On another note, my 3 miler yesterday was awesome. I don't know if it is because my long runs have become longer--but finally the 3 miler wasn't bad. Although it could also be because we had a dip in temperature and it was in the high 60's to low 70's yesterday.